Trial Continues For Man Accused of Killing Wife; Victim Was Central Texan

By: Paul J. Gately Email
By: Paul J. Gately Email
Trial is set to continue in Denton Monday morning for Charles Stobaugh, accused in the 2004 disappearance and murder of his wife, a Gatesville native.

Charles Stobaugh (Jail photo)

DENTON (January 31, 2011)—Trial for Charles Stobaugh, 55, is set to continue in Denton’s 362nd State District Court on Monday after defense attorneys blasted a Texas Ranger on Friday who was a lead investigator in the case.

Kathy Munday Stobaugh, then 43, disappeared from the couple’s Sanger home on the night of Dec. 29, 2004 and has never been seen or heard from since.

Police say they believe Charles Stobaugh killed her and hid her body.

Texas Ranger Tracy Murphree was the principal witness last Friday as jurors watched the final two hours of an interview with investigators and Stobaugh.

Jurors saw Stobaugh sitting in a chair in the corner of the interview room and occasionally stood leaning against a wall as investigators grilled him about the disappearance of his wife.

Following the videotape, defense attorneys began grilling Murphree himself, who agreed that the tactics interviewers used were common in such interrogations.

Defense attorney Derrell Comer questioned the length of the interview and the fact that it ended at 4 a.m.

Comer told jurors Murphree repeatedly said Stobaugh killed his wife and told Stobaugh that in time, investigators would find enough evidence to arrest and convict him of the crime.

Comer also pointed out that the officers used Stobaugh's children to try to get him to confess.

Kathy Stobaugh, who had been living at another address after the couple separated, went to the family home in Sanger on Dec. 29, 2004 to discuss details of the couple’s pending divorce.

That was the last time she had been seen.

Days later police found her car still in the driveway at the Sanger residence.

Stobaugh never reported her missing but her teenage daughter told police she was gone, however not until Jan. 5, 2005.

Stobaugh told investigators he believed Kathy Stobaugh had simply run away.

There have been more than 20 searches in Denton and Cooke counties for Kathy Stobaugh but authorities have found no evidence of her body.

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  • by Tina Location: Location on Nov 6, 2012 at 09:14 PM
    I feel he knows where his wife is or more less what happened to her,, she couldn't just walk away he lived out in the country with lots of land,, it is to strange ,the car was still there and he never called about her being missing,, it was a divorce he properly didn't want split things up ,like property money so on........ and to Joe sorry to hear what happened to you ,but there are some good cops that care enough to do their job ,I say properly NOT ENOUGH cops do ,,which is sad,,, and yeah ! its a shame someone can get in more trouble over smoking pot then robbery or shooting someone. that's a down right shame but the truth,,big cities most don't give a hoot,,,,you should sue the police department for not doing their job,, like they said, they would investigate and didn't time people took a stand ,sad people just don't care enough to do the right thing not even the one's with the jobs to protect us, they are not protecting us if they don't investigate and arrest the person or person's,
  • by joe Location: bellmead on Feb 1, 2011 at 10:54 AM
    if he called her in missing they wouldve said, "what did you do with her? how do you know she's missing?" if he wouldve had her car towed that really wouldve looked suspicious. the police charge people without actual evidence and wrongfully convict all the time. its very hard to get them to do their job. case in point. my wifes purse was stolen at the local HEB and we reported it to HEB they said they had the person on video. we reported to the police and never heard back. we went and got the police report and they said there was no video so they dropped the case. we called HEB and they said the police never came and asked about the video or the identification on the theif. just like after 20 years almost ive heard nothing about the robber-attemted murders that shot me in dallas. but if i dont have car insurance or get my license suspended i go to jail and probation. and god forbid i smoke a little pot, thats just criminal and dangerous!
  • by Danny Location: Gaetsville on Jan 31, 2011 at 05:31 PM
    Well hopefully justice is served for who ever killed her. They are not going to release everything about the case to the public to begin with and he was the last person to see her and her car was still at his house after her disappearence. If she went missing why didnt he call it in or have her car towed away for still being there?
  • by Joseph on Jan 31, 2011 at 04:25 PM
    With a pending divorce and the fact that he never reported his wife missing, but isntead the daughter reported that her mom was missing makes him highly suspicious. Still the the evidence is too circumstantial to charge him with murder, especially when a body hasn't been found.
  • by joe Location: bellmead on Jan 31, 2011 at 11:03 AM
    this makes no sense to me. how can a person be prosecuted without evidence? she couldve been dating a psycho or something. anything couldve happened. but as usual lazy police are sexist and biased against males. police almost never catch the rightful perps. i oughta know i was robbed and shot in the head back in 1992 while i was working at a drycleaners in dallas. they never even looked for the guys that did it. guess i was too poor to count.
  • by Older/Wiser Location: Waco on Jan 31, 2011 at 09:27 AM
    Appears the DA is going to ramrod this case through the court without any Circumstantial Evidence(other than this woman disappeared. 'Blind Justice'???
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